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Should You Go To A Diabetes Psychologist?

Should You Go to a Diabetes Psychologist?

Should You Go to a Diabetes Psychologist?

3 questions to ask yourself to see if therapy would benefit you.
When I tell people I am a psychologist who specializes in diabetes (and who also happens to have Type 1 diabetes), they often are startled that there is such a specialty. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked “Is there really a need for that?” or “How hard can having diabetes really be?”
It’s no secret to anyone who has diabetes that living with the condition can be really tough – and that the biggest challenges are often mental. Think about it for a minute. There are 8,760 hours in a year, and if you see your doctor every 3 months for a 15-minute appointment, that means that there are about 8,759 hours a year that you are on your own to manage your diabetes. You have to make important (sometimes life-or-death) decisions about your health multiple times a day, every day.
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For some people that responsibility can get so overwhelming, frustrating, and embarrassing that some people stop checking their blood sugar and taking insulin. Also, people with diabetes must deal with things like the fear of low blood sugar, how to handle complications, and combating a diabetes-related eating disorder – the list just goes on. When I tell mental health professionals about all this, they often tell me they had no idea how hard living with diabetes can be.
If you have diabetes and you’re struggling, how do you know if you should get help? When someone asks me this, there a couple of things I encourage them to ask themselves:
1) Are your struggles affecting your ability to manage your diabete Continue reading

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Sugary drinks kill 184,000 a year through diabetes, heart disease and cancer

Sugary drinks kill 184,000 a year through diabetes, heart disease and cancer

Sugary soft drinks kill 184,000 adults every year, scientists claim.
And there could be a ticking time bomb because those under 45 consume more artificially sweetened drinks and are more at risk of diabetes and obesity.
The worldwide study is the first to estimate deaths and disability from diabetes, heart disease, and cancers caused by the drinks.
It said 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 deaths from cancer were caused by fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks and sweetened ice teas in 2010.
• How much sugar is in your soft drinks?
• Sweet poison: why sugar is ruining our health
The study did not include pure fruit juices and all drinks had at least 50 kcal per eight US ounces serving or just over two thirds of a standard pop can.
Dr Dariush Mozaffarian, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston said: "Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages.
"It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet.
"There are no health benefits from sugar-sweetened beverages, and the potential impact of reducing consumption is saving tens of thousands of deaths each year."
The study based its estimates of consumption from 62 dietary surveys including 611,971 individuals conducted between 1980 and 2010 across 51 countries, along with data on national availability of sugar in 187 countries and other information.
Based on meta-analyses of other publis Continue reading

Sami Inkinen on his bold plan to cure type 2 diabetes forever

Sami Inkinen on his bold plan to cure type 2 diabetes forever

Sami Inkinen founded and then exited Trulia about a year after Zillow snapped it up for $3.5 billion in 2014. He’s since moved on to build Virta, a health care startup claiming it can cure type 2 diabetes.
It’s a bold claim. Most treatment plans offer to help those with the disease manage it, not get rid of it. But Inkinen, with zero medical background, believes he’s found a way to wholly eradicate diabetes for good.
The secret is as simple as a low-carb diet.
It seems pretty obvious — cut out the sugar and bad carbs and your diabetes will get better. But that’s easier said than done with humans. Inkinen tells me he’s learned through time where the pain points are and what people need to truly succeed.
So far Virta has conducted a small trial involving 262 people and the results seem promising. A majority (91 percent) of those participating finished the program and 87 percent of them either reduced their dosage or went off their insulin, says the startup. Over half of the participants were able to reduce at least one of their diabetes medications.
I sat down with Inkinen to talk about his company and why he decided to jump into the health care space after his success in the real estate field.
SB: That’s a bold claim that you’re making that you can cure diabetes.
SI: Yeah totally…Without tech you can’t do Virta.
We’re not just a software company, we’re a software company that combines biochemistry and science to cure the disease. If one of those is wrong it’s not going to work.
SB: Do you worry you tell them a bit too early to get off their medicati Continue reading

Fast-Acting Insulin

Fast-Acting Insulin

Even when you think you’re doing everything right with your diabetes care regimen, it can sometimes seem like your blood glucose levels are hard to control. One potential source of difficulty that you may not have thought of is how you time your injections or boluses of rapid-acting insulin with respect to meals.
Since the first rapid-acting insulin, insulin lispro (brand name Humalog), came on the market in 1996, most diabetes experts have recommended taking it within 15 minutes of starting a meal (any time between 15 minutes before starting to eat to 15 minutes after starting to eat). This advice is based on the belief that rapid-acting insulin is absorbed quickly and begins lowering blood glucose quickly. However, several years of experience and observation suggest that this advice may not be ideal for everyone who uses rapid-acting insulin. As a result, the advice on when to take it needs updating.
Insulin basics
The goal of insulin therapy is to match the way that insulin is normally secreted in people without diabetes.
Basal insulin. Small amounts of insulin are released by the pancreas 24 hours a day. On average, adults secrete about one unit of insulin per hour regardless of food intake.
Bolus insulin. In response to food, larger amounts of insulin are secreted and released in two-phase boluses. The first phase starts within minutes of the first bite of food and lasts about 15 minutes. The second phase of insulin release is more gradual and occurs over the next hour and a half to three hours. The amount of insulin that is released matches the rise in blood glucose Continue reading

Mary Tyler Moore Proved Living Well With Type 1 Diabetes Is Possible

Mary Tyler Moore Proved Living Well With Type 1 Diabetes Is Possible

Actress and activist Mary Tyler Moore passed away this week at the age of 80. No cause of death was immediately available, but Moore spoke publicly for many years about her struggle with type 1 diabetes, with which she was diagnosed at age 33.
In a statement, Moore’s rep referred to her as “a groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.” She had served as International Chairman for the foundation, now known as JDRF, since 1984.
"Mary Tyler Moore’s legacy is that of a woman who tirelessly committed herself to helping the millions with T1D," said JDRF in a statement. "Over the past 30 years, Moore educated about and increased awareness of T1D around the world and raised millions of dollars for research that will one day lead to a cure. Among her efforts, Moore was actively involved in JDRF Children’s Congress, sitting alongside children diagnosed with T1D to share their stories with elected officials on Capitol Hill and demonstrate the importance of continued T1D research funding."
According to the National Institutes of Health’s MedlinePlus magazine, Moore’s frequent lobbying visits to Congress over the years helped increase JDRF’s research budget to more than $1 billion.
Moore became active in diabetes advocacy after she was diagnosed with the lifelong disease herself. In 1997, she told the Archive of American Television that her diabetes was discovered when she was in the hospital after suffering a miscarriage.
“While normal blood sugar levels are to be somewhere between 70 and 110, mine was 750, Continue reading

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